UFC president Dana White believes the heavyweight champion could get a head start on himself for the first pay-per-view event of the year.
Saturday night at UFC 270, Francis Ngannou will try to unify the heavyweight title when he takes on interim champion Ciryl Gane in the main event in Anaheim, California. In the lead up to the build-up, Ngannou has publicly discussed his desire to change his contract situation with the UFC, which is currently expiring at the end of the fight with Gane.
Ngannou has indicated that he would like his next contract to include the option of boxing, citing a potential mega crossover fight with champion Tyson Fury.
“You’re talking about not wanting to fight under your contract, you’re talking about — he gets a bit of pay-per-view, whatever we sell, like all the other champions do,” White said in response. recent interview on “The Jim Rome Show.”
“You worry about all those other things, ‘I want to box Tyson Fury, I want to do this, I want to do that.’ You’re the underdog on Saturday night You’re not such a big 10 on a favorite, and you want to move on Focus on (this): Beat Ciryl Gane Win this fight, then you can start talking about the possibility of others stuff.”
Gane comes in Saturday night as a -155 betting favorite, per the rules at Tipico Sportsbook.
The contract situation isn’t the only external distraction Ngannou faces in the run-up to Saturday night, as questions continue to be raised about his past training sessions with Gane and feud with former coach Fernand Lopez. Despite this, Ngannou has said that he has tried his best not to think about the outside distractions in order to focus on completing the task of defeating the undefeated Gane.
While there may be things Ngannou would like to do next, White believes that if he’s not just focused on Saturday night, Gane could derail potential plans.
“Let’s face it, Francis is in a place where he’s made a lot of money,” White said. ‘He is building a big house in his home country in Africa. He builds gyms for kids there, he does all these things. Ciryl Gane wants what this man has. You’ve got that guy coming up and hungry.
“Nobody has enough money. No one will ever say, ‘Oh, they’re paying me way too much. I have too much money.’ But this guy has made real money and he spends it and does his thing. Ciryl Gane wants that real money now.”